Saturday, June 5, 2010

Challenge to Find the Good

When your neighbors are playing their frantic middle-eastern music during a very loud party, loud to the point where it feels like they somehow rigged the acoustics so that it's like you've got the Hollywood Bowl in your back yard, it's hard to feel positive about anything.

Joe and I stood in the back yard while our dinner grilled and could barely hear each other over the music and the shouted conversation in whatever language they were speaking. Earlier, I could hear their music over my husband's video game that he was playing one wall away from me, with all the windows and doors closed, though our neighbors are a whole backyard away.

When Sartre wrote that "hell is other people" I feel like my life has been a perpetual verification of that statement. Though this is the first time in my life that I'm mot sharing walls with anyone else, neighbors still find a way to force their existence between the atoms that make up the boundaries of my house from a whole property away. Call me sensitive. And the outskirts of L.A. are probably the worst place to hope for the privacy of silence, but without some modicum of consideration between neighbors, complicated by differing cultural interpretations of privacy, hell is here.

Joe and I just returned from Fiji where I spent a week listening mostly to the sound of the ocean and myna birds. Back in L.A., the mockingbird is drowned out by some overly produced middle-eastern music that competes with the raucous conversation of neighbor revelers. At one point Joe used his boat horn to get the neighbors' attention. They couldn't hear it over their music.

In the mean time, the jacaranda has started blooming. This is my favorite shade of lavender. It's a quietly vibrating hue.

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